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ProMaster sales: moving fast from zero

by David Zatz on

The Ram ProMaster was launched as a 2014 model, the first Dodge/Ram-built van since 2001. It beat competitors on most criteria, with a unique, loader-friendly low floor, a price far lower than Mercedes Sprinter, and a widest-in-class cargo bay. It had a proven gasoline powertrain, and an efficient though late-coming  diesel option.

Taken on its own, ProMaster did well. U.S. sales from January to the end of August were nearly double those of the prior year, again with no history other than the minivan-based Cargo Van.

So far, Ram has sold 16,774 of the Ram ProMaster vans year-to-date. The Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter, which has been sold in the US for many years, was still more popular, gaining 15% in sales (to 17,957) despite its much higher price; and the Ford Transit logged a stunning 75,931 sales through August 31, riding on the back of Ford’s strong fleet contacts and decades on decades of E-series vans. Chevrolet sold 37,542 of their own large commercial vans in that time, with a much larger dealer channel and more recent history of making full-size commercial vans.

The ProMaster remains unique despite a now-crowded Eurostyle commercial van field. Sprinter is far more expensive, and both Chevrolet and Ford have higher load floors, narrower cargo bays (barely able to hold a sheet of wallboard), and less nimble handling. Time will tell whether Ram can keep the sales increase going until it surpasses Mercedes to threaten Chevrolet’s spot.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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